Something different from the normal Napoleonic game. Dan and WR elected to play a French expedition Syria vs. the forces of Ahmed Jezzar (Levant Ottomans) game featuring the Battle of Gaza 1799.
Game map, order of battle and notes: Gaza 1799 Scenario notes
Initial deployment: Lannes’ Division with Murat’s cavalry crossing the Gaza wadi. Levant Ottomans deployed behind hills or in Gaza.
Levant Ottoman’s deployment notes: The Palestine Group (like a division) deployed around Gaza, the El Arish group deployed besides the small hill in right foreground, Aga of Jerusalem behind the hill ridge and the Mamelukes in support.
Opening movements. The French cavalry under Murat advance towards the town of Gaza. Ottoman counter the French cavalry movement with their local provincial sipahis cavalry.
Cavalry charge and countercharge action…The French are victorious and the Levant Ottoman’s sipahis retire. WR’s French dromedaries proved to be decisive in the combats.
After the defeated local provincial sipahis retire, the Mamelukes join the fray.
Levant Ottomans better cheer the arrival of Ahmed Jezzar. He was called “the Blucher” for a reason. The sole ottoman artillery battery arrives along with the zembuk camel artillery.
As Ahmed Jazzar arrives…the French Division of Kleber makes it’s appearance along the coastal road. Murat’s tattered cavalry welcomes the support. French infantry prepare to advance. Bonaparte directing the french movements besides the road.
Dismounted Zembuk action….camel swivel artillery engage the disordered French cavalry along with Bedouin sniping from the coastal dunes.
French advance with their infantry…. Levant Ottoman’s regroup or reposition to await the advancing French.
French advance in their squares with artillery support. Lannes looks on.
Seeing the french advance…Jezzar “the Blucher” orders his Egyptian spear infantry forward to bunt the french advance. Mameluke cavalry sees an opportunity to seize the french cannon.
Wargamerabbit has been spotted while enjoying a miniature game. Photo taken while the action was brisk handling his Ottoman (Levant) forces.
While the Mamelukes flubbed their charge, the French Division under Kleber is pushing forward on the coastal road. The bedouin tribe falls back…sniping at Frenchmen.
Both armies took a pause to reorder their battered formations. French prepare to assault the Gaza hills while their tattered cavalry ride to the right flank….they smell opportunity.
Bonaparte figures out that the Aga’s forces are poor quality infantry. Even with the tattered cavalry, the French cavalry charge causes massed panic in the Aga of Jerusalem’s ranks. Levant Ottoman infantry running for the distant hills as the French infantry and cavalry crest the ridge. WR caught muttering..“if you start with poor infantry….then you have poor infantry…what do you expect to happen”.
With the Aga’s forces running…and running, Ahmed Jazzar retires from the field and marches north to Acre. Bonaparte will have another meeting with Ahmed Jezzer at the siege of Acre.
Historically, this wasn’t much of battle in 1799. French arrived, Ottomans saw them, and after a little action retired towards Gaza, then Acre. Napoleon’s bulletin on the “action” made out he “defeated a large enemy force” (10,000 infantry and 3-4,000 cavalry). So, WR made him “eat his own bulletin” and challenged Bonaparte.
Nice game Dan. Hopefully the Levant Ottomans gave you a little respect before you reach Acre. Till the next WR adventure…..maybe 1801 Alexandria.
A last photo showing my entire French dromedaries unit.
Some background on Jezzar Pasha link.
Napoleon in Egypt & Syria Armee d’Orient
Other period information on this campaign:
Siege of Jaffa 1799: Siege of Jaffa 1799
Siege of Acre 1799: Siege of Acre 1799